Abrasive Blasting Dust Collection

Sand, Silica, Nickel, Coal, Glass... Reduce the Risk of Abrasive Blasting Dust Exposure

Abrasive blasting operators understand dust and live with it every day. They know how it's made and the importance of mitigating it. Your abrasive-blasting dust can vary depending on what kind of equipment you're using, your containment system and the media you're using for cleaning and prepping parts. Dangers can come not only from the blasting media but from the underlying substrate and coatings being blasted.

Every operation is different, and there are many options for dust collection. As domestic manufacturing picks up, RoboVent is eager to meet the demands of abrasive-blasting operations. We have decades of experience solving dust challenges that involve every type of dust at every volume. Controlling this dust is critical for ensuring workers' health and complying with air quality regulations.

Exposure Risks for Abrasive Blasting Dust

Exposure Risks for Abrasive Blasting Dust

Some blasting media are more dangerous than others. If walnut shells were the only media being used, no one would have much of a problem. But commonly used media include: silica, coal slag, garnet sand, nickel slag, glass beads and steel shot. The force used in abrasive blasting creates very fine particulates that are serious health hazards. For example, exposure to silica dust can lead to silicosis, a serious disease caused by damage to the lining of the lung sacs. Prolonged exposure to silica dust is implicated in chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. Other blasting media can have serious respiratory effects, as well. Copper slag, nickel slag and glass have the potential to cause major lung damage.

One of the most obvious risks involved with abrasive blasting is the presence of lead paint. If this paint is on the surface being blasted, operators will have to follow the provisions of the OSHA Lead standard. Studies show that even low-level exposure to lead can cause impaired kidney function, high blood pressure and cognitive damage.

The makeup of the substrate being blasted is critical to understanding the health risks on operators. If metallic dusts are being produced, workers face serious risks, since many metallic dusts are toxic if exposure reaches certain levels. Health effects include neurological damage, respiratory harm and even cancer.

Regulations for Abrasive Blasting Dust

Regulations for Abrasive Blasting Dust

Regulatory issues surrounding some of the materials commonly used in abrasive blasting have recently changed, and operators should be aware of the new rules. For example, silica dust is a recent focus of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In early 2016, OSHA changed the standard for silica dust to be much more stringent. OSHA cut the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for silica dust in half. The limit is now 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (m/m3) as an 8-hour time-weighted average. The rule also outlines requirements for assessing and monitoring exposure, protecting employees, mitigation, recordkeeping and employee communication.  OSHA estimates that the new rule could prevent 600 deaths and 900 new cases of silicosis each year.

Abrasive blasting operations are governed by OSHA limits on metallic substances, as well. The agency has issued around 500 PEL’s, and some of the elements seen in blasting dust are likely included. These include lead and other metals. Understanding the content of your blasting dust is key in protecting your workers and meeting regulations. Services providing comprehensive chemical testing of your air quality are an important investment in worker safety. Failure to meet OSHA regulations can lead to serious fines and other legal problems.

Solutions for Abrasive Blasting Dust

RoboVent has decades of experience controlling dusts of all kinds, from high volumes of nuisance dusts to the finest particulates of highly dangerous metallic dusts. RoboVent’s Senturion Series of dust collectors are ideal for abrasive blasting applications due to their rugged cabinet design and powerful dust collection capabilities. Engineered from the ground up using state-of-the-art CFD simulation technology, Senturion Series collectors provide the flexibility, efficiency and performance you need to protect workers.

If your operation is changing or filled with confusing variables, RoboVent’s VentMapping process can help you identify your specific needs and the best solution available. Whether you need a source capture solution to clean up a specific location or process, or an ambient capture system to clean the air across an entire facility, RoboVent has the expertise and equipment options to solve the problem.

Dust Collection Solution Configurations

Traditional Configuration

The traditional configuration maximizes performance with ductwork sized for optimal airflow for your specific applications.

Clean Air Services

VentMapping® Engineering

VentMapping is a systematic engineering and design service. Our comprehensive approach helps us find the safest, most effective and most efficient way to meet your goals.

RoboVent Maintenance Program, Clean Air and Industrial Air Filtration Solutions

ClientCare Maintenance Program

ClientCare lets you leverage RoboVent's expertise so you can reduce the burden on your maintenance staff and stay focused on your core business.

Abrasive Dust Collectors


Senturion is the most flexible and versatile industrial dust collector on the market today.

Types of Abrasive Dust Filters

Endurex RMO Cartridge Filters, Dust & Fume Air Filters

Endurex RMO Cartridge Filters

RoboVent's premium filter engineered to provide the best filtration protection for your plant and employees. A widened pleat and proprietary filter media help deliver top performance.